Monday, July 4, 2011

Gadget-girl returns!

A few months ago, our institutional QEP brought us to the interesting decision to explore the use of iPads to improve e-learning. As the professor of one of the courses noted for study (three core -curriculum courses were selected), I was in line to potentially receive an iPad. I am a true gadget girl, as I noted many months ago when exploring travel and gadgets. However, I am also self-taught in this technology. Though I love it, I wasn't born with it and it isn't always intuitive for me. In short, there are things I have to work hard at and, at times, technology can be one of them. But I do love and respect what it can bring to my classes and students, so I do work hard. The iPad seemed like a natural next step--but not on this professor's salary. So I waited, read, and studied those writing about iPads in education. I grew impatient and jealous. And then my day came! Friday, after a week of heavy deadlines and student needs, I got the call. As if I were being called up to the majors, I felt my heart soar. I rushed to ITC and saw my beautiful new gadget, the iPad2. My concerns melted. It was so amazing! Now, I'm a BlackBerry girl and not a fan of touch screens, but the device is very effective. After just three days, I have navigated my BlackBoard courses through the iPad and found it not only saves time, but it increases the responsiveness. Sure, there are a lot of other great things about it (importing my google task list is just one of them), but it is mine for the educational impact it will have on my students and so far it looks like this gadget girl will have a lot of new tools, techniques, and options to explore for the next few weeks. Be prepared...there will be some gushing. Educators, please share your uses, apps, stories, frustrations, and suggestions!

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